President Donald Trump’s Defense Department took heat last week after describing the insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6 as “First Amendment Protests.”
From Task & Purpose:
On [Jan. 8], the Pentagon released a timeline of how the National Guard was activated for and responded to the Jan. 6 riots, during which a pro-Trump mob attempted to recreate the 1917 Bolshevik revolution by storming Congress.
Some people noted on Twitter that the Pentagon described the attempted putsch as “First Amendment Protests” – a much milder description of the mayhem than when former Defense Secretary Mark Esper urged State officials this summer to “dominate the battlespace” in response to protests that erupted around the country over the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers.
Jim Golby, a senior fellow at the Clements Center for National Security at University of Texas, Austin, tweeted that the Pentagon’s description of the riots was, “Sickening and politically tone-deaf from the Office of the Secretary of Defense.”
According to the report, a defense official told the publication “that the Pentagon had simply used the same verbiage that came from a Dec. 31 memo from the Washington, D.C., city government to the head of the D.C. National Guard that requested help for Jan. 6.”
Last week, Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s office provided Task & Purpose with a copy of a similar Dec. 31 letter to the commander of the D.C. National Guard that describes the upcoming event as “First Amendment demonstrations permitted by the National Park Service.”
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